The typical Israeli response to Hamas murders has been surgical strikes in Gaza that are designed to kill particular terrorists and destroy particular sites…usually rocket launching sites or tunnel entrances. It was in essence a tit-for-tat policy that has allowed Hamas to entrench itself in Gaza and create a huge and complex network of tunnels and rocket launching sites, in addition to infrastructure to support their large number of terrorists.
The results of that hands-off approach is stark and ugly. 1,400 Israelis murdered in one day, in a large-scale invasion of southern Israel that was disgustingly reminiscent of an Einsatzgruppe moving into Poland or Russia. The brutality has been well documented, and it is shocking…even to those who expect depravity and subhuman behavior from these terrorists.
Yet Israel’s response has been muted by both an American administration that is pro-Iranian (the architects of much of the terrorism in the world), and an internal response that seems not to understand that this time it is different.
Israeli forces conducted a massive raid inside the Gaza Strip this morning. It was more extensive than the previous small-scale ground operations in the wake of the vicious October 7 terror attacks committed by Hamas that left over 1,200 Israelis dead. The Jewish state has mobilized its military for a potentially prolonged conflict in Gaza that could spill into a two-front war with Lebanon. Hezbollah has vowed an all-out war if Israel invades Gaza.
In preparation for the next stages of combat, the IDF operated in northern Gaza.
IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts.
The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory. pic.twitter.com/oMdSDR84rU— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 26, 2023
Notice the problem?
Almost three weeks after the catastrophic terrorist attack, and this is the first large-scale movement into Gaza. And then the Israeli army left.
Just like they have been doing for almost 20 years, and that simply did not work. It is certainly possible that there is a strategic plan that requires waiting. Perhaps they are degrading command-and-control. Perhaps they are destroying tunnel entrances. Perhaps there are other considerations that require patience.
But If Israel has not planned for a large-scale invasion of Gaza and the destruction of Hamas, then their strategic planning is suspect. And if they do have plans, but are modifying and delaying them because of political considerations, then the Israeli body politic should punish the current unity government and demand a change.
As George Patton said:
A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.
Israel will be vilified for any action in Gaza. That is the reality. It is naive in the extreme to expect anything different, so a massive invasion of Gaza as soon as Israel’s reserves were fully in place would have been the only rational response. It would have caught the world by surprise, and those all-too predictable “CEASE FIRE” demands would have taken a few days or weeks to coalesce.
I am hopeful that Israel’s battle plans are robust and have as the goal the complete destruction of Hamas, both as a political entity and as a terrorist force. That is the minimum requirement for success, and any deviation from that goal risks sending a powerful message to the other terrorist actors and the nations that support or tolerate them that Israel is weak, and will no longer aggressively defend itself.
An equally aggressive response to any Hezbollah attacks along the border with Lebanon, and Iranian-proxy attacks from Syria would push them into a defensive stance, rather than the current probing and harassing behavior they are demonstrating. it is in fact an opportunity to attack ALL of Israel’s enemies on its borders!
Yes, I am advocating war on possibly three fronts while comfortably and safely writing 6,000 miles away. Yes, this will mean possibly hundreds of Israeli casualties, and it will also mean Hezbollah and Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli citizens. But that is happening anyway, and it is time for Israel to return to its roots as an offensive-minded nation and military. For too long, Israel has prioritized short-term safety over long-term strategic goals. That must end!